With just a 9.9 percent chance to finish in the top three, the Carolina Hurricanes beat the odds Saturday when they moved up from a team with the 11th-worst record in the league and were awarded the No. 2 pick in the 2018 draft. While that gives the franchise lots of new options that they weren’t expecting, it also makes their general manager and coaching openings much more attractive, according to Chip Alexander of the News & Observer.
The general manager position, which has been open since the team transitioned former general manager Ron Francis to President of Hockey Operations on Mar. 7, was not a popular destination after new owner Tom Dundon ousted Francis and multiple candidates declined to interview, forcing to team to announce they would wait until the offseason to address their needs. On top of that, the team then lost head coach Bill Peters when he triggered an out-clause in his contract and took the head coaching position with the Calgary Flames.
However, Alexander writes both openings are now more intriguing with the No. 2 pick as adding an impact player immediately after they take the job is always a positive. Adding a winger like Andrei Svechnikov could change the team dramatically as he would likely be the No. 1 overall pick if Rasmus Dahlin not been there.
- NHL.com’s Bill Meltzer writes the Philadelphia Flyers have a lot of work ahead of them this offseason. To start with, the team must depend on the continued development of their youth, including Nolan Patrick, Travis Konecny, Oskar Lindblom, Travis Sanheim, Robert Hagg and Samuel Morin. However, general manager Ron Hextall intends to make many roster changes to improve the team with the idea of adding more speed, especially to the special teams. Hextall, who is known for making offseason trades, is likely to be active again on the trade market and could attempt to move winger Wayne Simmonds. While Simmonds has said he wants to stay, the team could get a good return as the 30-year-old will enter the final year of a reasonable $3.975MM deal. With plenty of youth in their system working their way up, it would seem unlikely the Flyers would extend his contract.
- With two picks in the lottery, the New York Islanders have multiple options in front of them, writes Arthur Staple of The Athletic (subscription required). While the team could use the 11th and 12th picks in the 2018 NHL Draft to trade down and pick up a top forward, the team could also stay where they are and rebuild the team’s prospect pool, which isn’t as strong as it once was. The scribe also adds that the team could use one of the picks in a package to acquire a veteran defenseman who could help fix their leaky blueline.